Breast Health

Breast health is important for the well being of all women. As a woman, you are at risk of developing breast cancer. This risk increases as you age. If you are a woman over age 50, talk to your doctor about having a mammogram.

Take action now. Take action now. Finding cancer early increases the chances of successful treatment.

What can I do to ensure that my breasts are healthy?

  • Know how your breast normally look and feel.
  • Know what breast changes to look for, such as:
    • a lump or dimpling,
    • changes in your nipple or fluid leaking from the nipple,
    • skin changes or redness that do not go away,
    • any other changes in your breasts
  • If you notice any changes, see your healthcare provider. Most changes are not cancerous but you should have them checked right away.
  • If you are 40-49, talk to you healthcare provider about having a mammogram.
  • If you are 50-74, go for a mammogram every two years at the Ontario Breast Screening Program.External Link

  • If you are 30-69 and think you may be at high risk for breast cancer, talk to your physician about a referral for a yearly mammogram and breast MRI based on family or medical history.

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What is a mammogram?

  • A mammogram is an x-ray of your breast. Some people are afraid that the test may be painful. You may experience some discomfort, but it is short and only takes a few seconds.
  • Ask your doctor to make an appointment for you or contact an Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) site and make an appointment for a screening.

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What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

70% of all breast cancers occur in women with no risk factors other than being a woman and getting older (especially over the age of 50).

You are at greater risk for breast cancer if:

  • You have a strong family history of breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer (mother, sister, daughter)
  • You have a personal history of previous breast cancer
  • You have very dense breasts

Other possible risk factors for breast cancer are:

  • Early Menstruation (before the age of 12)
  • Late Menopause (after age 55)
  • Having a first baby after age 30 or never having a baby
  • Being physically inactive
  • Being overweight
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy

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How can I reduce the risk?

  • Healthy Eating - follow Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating.
  • Physical Activity - include 30 -45 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days of the week.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.

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Where can I go in Halton to get more information about breast cancer and breast screening?

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